Archive for the ‘Activities’ Category

Summer Games Guide: Tokyo 2020

Brave Writer Summer Games Guide

Despite all of the hurdles, the Games are on!

With hopes that all are safe and well, the 2020 Games will be hosted in Tokyo, Japan as planned.

When does our global village get to witness record-breaking, heart-stopping, breath-taking athletic feats once again? 

XXXII Summer Olympic Games
Friday, July 23, 2021 – Sunday, August 8, 2021

2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games
Tuesday, August 24, 2021 – Sunday, September 5, 2021


Are you ready for the BEST news?

We have a treat for you!

The Brave Writer Guide to the 2020 Summer Games!

This 18-page celebration of the Games is filled with: 

  • booklists (including a few Arrow and Boomerang titles)
  • writing ideas
  • STEM inspiration 
  • art and craft ideas
  • Big Juicy Conversation topics for both teens and the younger crowd
  • art and music appreciation
  • trivia links and prompts
  • nature study 
  • game ideas inspired by the Games
  • Poetry Teatime inspiration and booklists
  • Paralympic links and prompts 
  • metals for you to use however you like
  • and much more

Let’s get ready to support the athletes who’ve worked so hard to make it to the Games.

Grab your Summer Games Guide!

We’re excited for the games to begin! Use the hashtag #bravewriterlifestyle to share the fun.

P.S. If you are in Brave Learner Home, we’ve got a special Summer Games One Thing Challenge planned for you! Not in Brave Learner Home? Check our Special Offers page for details.

Brave Learner Home

Juneteenth

For those not already acquainted with the holiday, Juneteenth, celebrated since the late 1800s, is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day. On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Texas were given the news of freedom—Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. 

According to a New York Times article by Derrick Bryson Taylor, “On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.” 

Families celebrate this significant moment in history with backyard barbecues or by attending a larger event like the one held in Atlanta, Georgia—which hosts a parade and multi-day music festival.

Does your family celebrate Juneteenth? How will you celebrate this year? Are there new traditions you’ve been meaning to incorporate into your festivities?  You may find some ideas here.

If Juneteenth is new to you, read on to learn more.

Best Practices

What can you do to acknowledge and celebrate Juneteenth?

Beyond attending a celebration in your local area or hosting your own backyard cookout, you can celebrate by learning more about the events leading up to June 19, 1865, and the significance of the date.

As you research, evaluate resources, and plan your homeschool lessons, we’d like to offer a few points to help you facilitate respectful planning, discussions, and activities while learning about slavery and Juneteenth. 

Along with these tips, please use the links provided below to access direct information from members of the African American community. 

Points to Consider

  • When evaluating resources, start with these foundational questions: 
    • Who created the resource? (Try to use resources created by the people you are learning about.)
    • Who’s story is being told? 
    • Is it historically accurate? (You may need to do more research.) 
  • Extend learning beyond a single day.
    • Provide children with historical context (slavery, Civil War, Reconstruction, geography, politics, current events).
    • Explore how the holiday is celebrated in your area and in different regions.
    • Incorporate Juneteenth lessons beyond June—for instance, share Juneteenth stories during a study on “holidays.” 
  • When lesson planning, work to learn more about a specific region and individual people rather than learning about enslaved people and Black Americans as a monolithic group. 
  • When planning activities for your homeschool or book club, it is considered best practice to avoid crafts and activities that would be considered cultural appropriation. Learn more about cultural appropriation, how it’s different from cultural appreciation, and how to avoid it. The PBS Teachers Lounge has a helpful post called Cultural Appropriation: What’s an Educator’s Role?—it offers practical tips and questions to ask when embarking on a new project with your children. If necessary, conduct research to learn more about the craft or activity in question. 

Please let these tips serve as an introduction and explore more at the resources below. 

More to Explore

The following online resources provide information and guidance for engaging in respectful discussions and activities. 

  • Learning for Justice provides an invaluable article for parents wanting to learn more about the history and context of Juneteenth as they prepare to teach their children. 
  • Teach for America offers a collection of helpful links for learning about Juneteenth— including Juneteenth teaching resources. 
  • This three-minute TED-Ed video offers a succinct history of Juneteenth. 
  • Here Wee Read has a list of 25 books about Juneteenth
  • For adults and older teens, the Chicago Public Library has an extensive Juneteenth Reading List
  • Juneteenth.com is filled with resources that cover “How to Celebrate” and a list of past city and state celebrations. 
  • At the Zinn Education Project, find information and a compilation of teaching materials spanning slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and beyond. 

Special Offer

To celebrate Juneteenth, we are offering selected topic-specific Arrows and Boomerangs at cost—just $5.70 each! The offers expires June 19, 2021 at midnight ET.

Juneteenth 2021

Use them now or in the future as you learn more about the African American experience.

Arrows

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton

Boomerang 

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass


We encourage you to continue to incorporate learning about the contributions of Black Americans as part of your regular lesson planning throughout the year. 

Add Olympic Fun to Your Homeschool

Add Olympic Fun to your Homeschool

The Brave Writer Guide
to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

Whether you have a house full of winter Olympic sports fans, or you don’t know the difference between luge and bobsled, take heart! Brave Writer has you covered.

The Olympic games are ripe with learning opportunities that dovetail beautifully with the Brave Writer Lifestyle. From Poetry Teatime to art appreciation, nature study to movies, there is something for everyone when it comes to the world’s biggest sports extravaganza. We’ve got activities not only for sports lovers, but for your musicians, artists, and geography-whiz-kids too.

The XXIII Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea kick off with the Opening Ceremonies on Friday, February 9, and continue through Sunday, February 25.

Add Olympic Fun to Your Homeschool

To enrich your fun during the games enjoy our book suggestions below then for many more Brave Writer Lifestyle-inspired ideas download our FREE guide. We’ve even included some Olympic-size big juicy conversation topics you can dig into with your teens!

Brave Writer Guide to the Winter Olympics


[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]


Olympic titles for your morning basket

Fiction

Snowman Paul at the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid. 3–8 years.
Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger. 3–5 years.
Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester. 4–7 years.
Olympig! by Victoria Jamieson. 5–8 years.

Nonfiction

Yes, I Can!: The Story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team by Devon Harris. 6–9 years.
Kid’s Guide to the 2018 WInter Games by Jack L. Roberts.
The Treasures of the Olympic Winter Games by The Olympic Museum & IOC.
TIME-LIFE The Olympics: Moments That Made History by Time Life.
Freeze Frame: A Photographic History of the Winter Olympics by Sue Macy.

Poetry

G is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet by Brad Herzog. 6–9 years.
Goodnight Hockey by Michael Dahl. 4–7 years.
A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet by Kurt Browning. 6–9 years.

Also look for books about specific sports that grab the attention of your young Olympic enthusiasts!


As you explore these ideas, we’d love to see your Olympic creativity at work! If you’re incorporating the Olympics into your homeschool, post photos on social media with the hashtag #2018bwl so we can share in the fun!

Let the games begin!

7-Day Writing BLITZ!

Brave Writer's 7-Day Writing Blitz

Introducing the 7-Day Writing Blitz!

What is a 7-Day Writing Blitz? It’s about EXPLODING the dynamics around language and helping your kids take that deep plunge into writing in an invitational, fun, enchanted way. Because writing is not about performing for school; it’s about life and self-expression.

For seven straight days, your kids will write, but it’s going to surprise them. Our FREE PDF comes with seven days of manageable writing projects appropriate for all writing ages. These daily prompts will encourage your kids to

  • play with language,
  • use unconventional writing utensils and surfaces,
  • and cultivate good writing habits.

Also in our free packet we give you directions for how to build a Writing Blitz Jet Pack (pictured in the image above) to help you enchant the writing experience for your kids.Brave Writer's 7-Day Writing Blitz

Download the guide HERE

Starting on Sept. 25th we will all do the activities together while updating each other on our progress at the hashtag #BW7DAYBLITZ on Instagram and Twitter.

The 25th doesn’t work for you? It’s okay! You can do the Writing Blitz whenever you want. You can start early and simply wait to post your progress, or you can start late because the Writing Blitz will remain available.

And if your child decides they want to change the prompts? Excellent! There are no rules in Brave Writer. This is about being brave.


Get your free 7-Day Writing Blitz PDF HERE

Nature Journaling

Best of the Brave Writer Blog: Nature Journaling

The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. ~e.e. cummings

Nature Journaling is an important part of the Brave Writer Lifestyle. Turn the exploration of the great, messy outdoors into a joyful writing opportunity!

The Basics

  • Walk together.
  • Collect little rocks, leaves, twigs, mosses, acorns, flowers, and feathers.
  • Bring them home.
  • Set a few of them on a large sheet of white paper in the center of the table.
  • Using drawing pencils and paper, sketch one or more of the items.
  • Then record a few details about the object or the day. One good sentence about the color, or texture or the memory of collecting it or what it looks like, or what it reminds the writer of, is perfect.

Branch Out!

Here are three blog posts full of tips that will enhance your nature journaling experience.

If You are New to Nature Journaling

Nature Journaling Wherever You Are

Writing Exercise: Make Your Nature Walk a Color Walk!

Also, Brave Writer offers an online class each spring and fall that is designed to make nature journaling a natural part of your life. Click on the image below to learn more.

Nature Journaling